Virtual reality: Keyhole surgeons training could help meet European working time directives

Jan 21, 2009

Trainee surgeons who add virtual reality (VR) training to standard 'apprenticeship' training in key-hole surgery learn more quickly, work with greater accuracy and have less errors than those with no VR training, and perform as well as those who use additional video training. The finding of this Cochrane Systematic Review is important because training surgeons is time-consuming and costly, and surgeons have to develop new skills while working within the hour-limits set by European legislation.

More and more abdominal surgery is now performed using laparoscopes - instruments introduced into the patient's body through small incisions in the skin. This means that surgeons experienced in conventional surgery need to train with the new equipment, as well as newly qualified doctors who are at the beginning of their surgical careers.

The Royal College of Surgeons runs training courses that let a surgeon see what a procedure involves. With the arrival of desktop computing that has high graphic capability, software developers have built programs that enable the trainee to interact with the images. "This greater level of involvement gives the possibility that surgeons will be able to develop skills more rapidly," said Kurinchi Gurusamy, who works at the University Department of Surgery at the Royal Free Hospital, London.

To assess the impact of VR training, Gurusamy and colleagues searched for published research studies that compared VR training with other methods of training. They then undertook a detailed analysis of all the randomised trials that addressed this issue. There were 23 trials in total involving a total of 612 participants. The data clearly demonstrated the benefits of VR training.

"If we are going to meet the requirements of the European Working Time Directive, which effectively decreases the time available for training surgeons, as well as the Department of Health's modernising medical careers initiative, we need to develop highly efficient means of teaching new surgical skills. Virtual reality techniques may fulfil that need," said Kurinchi.

Source: Wiley

Explore further: Amgen misses 1Q views as higher costs cut profit

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Virtual reality used to train surgeons

Mar 02, 2006

A Case Western Reserve University scientist in Cleveland says he's developing a way to use virtual reality simulation to train brain and heart surgeons.

Beyond Google Glass: Researcher looks to the future

Aug 20, 2013

(Phys.org) —A wearable display being developed by UA optical scientist Hong Hua could have capabilities even more advanced than those of the recently unveiled Google Glass, a pair of glasses with smartphone ...

Future science: Using 3D worlds to visualize data

Feb 20, 2013

Take a walk through a human brain? Fly over the surface of Mars? Computer scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago are pushing science fiction closer to reality with a wraparound virtual world ...

Recommended for you

Novartis reports Q1 profit up on divestitures

5 minutes ago

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG has reported a 24 percent increase in profit for the first quarter, helped by selling off less-profitable parts of its business.

Amgen misses 1Q views as higher costs cut profit

Apr 22, 2014

Despite higher sales, biotech drugmaker Amgen's first-quarter profit fell 25 percent as production and research costs rose sharply, while the year-ago quarter enjoyed a tax benefit. The company badly missed ...

Valeant, Ackman make $45.6B Allergan bid

Apr 22, 2014

Valeant Pharmaceuticals and activist investor Bill Ackman have unveiled details of their offer to buy Botox maker Allergan, proposing a cash-and-stock deal that could be worth about $45.6 billion.

User comments : 0

More news stories